Pedaling through the Treetops at Florida EcoSafaris Near Orlando

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Up in the Treetops on the Cypress Canopy Cycle, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla.

Up in the Treetops on the Cypress Canopy Cycle, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla.

I tiptoed through the tulips for my 40th birthday and this year I pedaled through the treetops on the Cypress Canopy Cycle at Florida EcoSafaris in St. Cloud. Now don’t think I’ve done something amazing like balancing a bicycle atop a wire. The two-wheeled yellow bicycle hangs from the one-mile cable course which ascends up to 25 feet above Florida wilderness.

That's Me! On the Florida EcoSafaris Cypress Canopy Cycle

That’s Me! On the Florida EcoSafaris Cypress Canopy Cycle

Jane of the Jungle

This wasn’t my first rodeo at the wilderness adventure ranch, I first visited Florida EcoSafaris in March 2009 when they opened Florida’s first zipline course and I had the pleasure of being Jane of the Jungle. That was three years ago and things have certainly changed for the good at Florida EcoSafaris.

They still offer ziplining along with coach and horseback safaris and have a new Zipline Safari with two-and-a-half hours of exhilarating fun and a new Zipline Roller Coaster, the first of its kind in the U.S. There’s also Florida’s longest straightaway zipline, a plunge and an extreme swing.

Cypress Canopy Cycle, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla.

Yellow Cypress Canopy Cycles, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla.

Pedaling through the Treetops

But I digress, this visit was all about pedaling through the treetops and it was harder than I thought it’d be. I’m going to use the appendectomy card and acknowledge I have not got my body into some sort of shape but before taking that first pedal, I thought it’d be a breeze.

Not so. While I sat back in the comfort of the hammock-like seat, I was huffing and puffing as I felt resistance with each push of my foot.  On the upside, it was a great leg workout and I felt it the next day.

Me and My Shadow, Up in the Treetops on the Cypress Canopy Cycle, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla.

Me and My Shadow, Up in the Treetops on the Cypress Canopy Cycle, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla.

It was kinda cool chugging along and looking down on some of the trees, touching tops of saw palmetto with my feet and getting up close with clusters of bromeliads. Unfortunately, some people took time to carve their initials into at least one tree.

I was told by the attendant who secured my helmet and harness that I’d see someone out there to make sure I was doing OK. The only mammals I saw were a doe and her fawn and someone on a zipline. It’d been nice if there was a mid-point marker out in the wilderness because although you can go at your own pace, I didn’t want to hang out for too long and just kept going.

It took me about 40 minutes to work my way through the whole course stopping here and there to soak up the view and guzzle some water. Unfortunately, this is where being a solo traveler sucked, the only photos I have of me is a self portrait showing just my head then another one showing my shadow in the Florida wilderness below.

The most dreadful part of the experience was stepping on the scale to verify I weighed less than 275 lbs.

Zipline Platforms, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla., April 2012

Zipline Platforms, Florida EcoSafaris, St. Cloud, Fla., April 2012

Nuts & Bolts About the Cypress Canopy Cycle

Dangling jewelry is prohibited, pant legs should reach below the knee and closed-toed shoes are the recommended footwear. Cameras are permitted but need fit around the waist or shoulder. Be sure to bring cash to tip the guide/attendant.

Children must be 10 years or older and riders must weigh 275 lbs. or less. The fee is $45 per person.

The Cypress Canopy Cycle runs rain or shine but ceases operation when lightning or other elements are a threat to participant safety. Visit the Florida EcoSafaris website for additional planning information.

Plan the visit around breakfast or lunch to enjoy a home-style meal at the cozy Cypress Restaurant which is located on site.

Located only an hour south of Orlando, Forever Florida is a natural complement to the theme parks of a Central Florida vacation. Their activities are ideal for celebrating a birthday, team building or pre- or post-conference activity.

Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida
4755 N. Kenansville Rd.
St. Cloud, Fla. 34773
Tel: 407-957-9794 ext 1 or Toll Free: 866-854-3837
www.floridaecosafaris.com

 

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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6 Comments

  1. You’re some woman – I would have fainted – so scare of heights. What an adventure … admire your mental strengths !!!

  2. I’m sure you would have made it! I should have mentioned if someone can’t continue on, a ladder is brought out to bring the person down. I think I’d die from embarrassment if that happened so I had no choice but to pedal on 🙂

  3. Still .. you’re some woman – going on something like that – and I can promise you I wouldn’t make it. *smile

  4. Yes pedaling on is less than trying to climb down a ladder – good job

  5. Was it scary at all — did you sway or did it feel pretty solid? It sounds lovely and tough!

  6. Not scary at all, except when I would look up to see the cables and the connectors but you’re harnessed in so you shouldn’t be able to fall out.

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